Friday, October 28, 2011

Snow White Dress Tutorial

this year for Halloween my daughter requested to be Snow White after seeing this on Pinterest. (don't worry, she was in my lap and i was monitoring what we looked at... there is some SHADY stuff on there, i know...) so i set out to make it myself. couldn't be too hard, right? 

i really wanted to deconstruct a t-shirt for the top of the dress, instead of starting from scratch, but i couldn't find any tutorials for it being made that way online. so i just had to figure it out myself.

the material you will need are as follows:
one royal blue t-shirt (preferably your child's current size) or enough yardage of royal blue jersey material to fit your child
red satin ribbon
yellow satin ribbon
white cotton material (i had a fat quarter laying around and had plenty left over)
royal blue sewing thread

No.1} figure out how big you want your top to be. i used one of my daughter's current sized t-shirts in the shape i wanted it as a guide. 

when creating my own patterns i use paper bags. some people have suggested tissue paper but i prefer to work with a thicker paper.

No.2} using your guide, trace the shape onto the paper. make sure to trace the front neckline AND the back neckline. also make sure to account for seam allowance.

No. 3} cut out your pattern

No. 4} disassemble the arms and make a sweet muscle tee. that is in fact not so sweet so we will butcher it in a later step. 

No. 5} using tracing chalk, trace the pattern onto the body portion of the above said muscle tee for butchering.

No.6} i used to BACK neckline pattern to cut through BOTH sides of the tee.

(all these steps can be skipped if you were lucky enough, not like me, to find the perfect color shirt in your child's perfect size. i'm not jealous or anything. my job is just harder that's all. with more steps. i'm just saying.

No.7} now go back and cut out the FRONT neckline pattern to only ONE side of the tee.

ok. now for the collar... i used this tutorial to get an idea of what making a collar looks like.

my daughter didn't have any collared dresses or shirts for me to use a guide from, so i snagged one of my own. and it actually worked out because Snow White has a crazy huge collar that pops up and wraps around to the front. perf. 

No. 8} anyway, trace around your guide onto your pattern paper.

No. 9} cut out your collar pattern

No. 10} trace your pattern onto your white cotton, for front and back. i also used infusing to make it stiff. make sure to trace one collar pattern onto the infusing.

inside the collar, with the infusing
No.11} i failed to take a picture of the collar pinned, but the next step is to sew all around the edges of the collar, leaving the bottom open. 

No. 12} next, make little snips into the curved part of the seam allowance, making sure not to snip the actual seam. this will help it lay flat once turned right side in. 

No.13} once turned right side in, iron flat.

now for the sleeves... i used this tutorial as a guide for the sleeves, but made a few alterations.

 No. 14} open up the sleeves you detached so they lay flat. measure your child's arm to make sure it will fit through the arm hole and not cut of their circulation. i estimated that 10 inches around would be roomy enough for her little arm and still allow room for growth (don't even trip! you know i made this thing a little bit bigger than her so she can have lots of time to play in it... this is a huge undertaking for me and i'm not trying to do it again any time soon!) i then measured 4" for the gathered poof of the sleeve. 

No. 15} cut out your red satin ribbon. i used 5 strips 

No. 16} arrange them according to where you want them placed on the sleeve. then pin them.

No. 17} cut out two 10"x2" strips (depending on how big around you want your sleeve) from your white fabric for the sleeve band. fold in half, then iron.

No. 18} sew around bottom of sleeve and top of sleeve to attach ribbon, and also for gathering.

No. 19} gather the top of your sleeve. 

No.20} attached sleeve band to bottom of sleeve and sew.

No. 21} turn right side in and iron flat. repeat on second sleeve.

No. 22} i don't have a picture of this, but sew the sleeve closed so it's a complete circle now. 

No. 23} sew the bodice part of the top. (sides and top of shoulders. leave neckline and bottom open. sorry, no picture!)

No. 24} insert sleeve, right side in, into inside out shoulder whole. (confused yet?)

it should look like this.

No. 25} i cut a long, skinny strip, enough to fit around the neckline, about 1" wide to fill in the gap of the collar. fold it in half and pin all around neckline. make sure to pin the yellow ribbon between those seams.

No. 26} sew around neckline, attaching collar.

No. 27} attach ribbon with little hand stitched all the way down. 

for the skirt....

i purchased a 2" wide band of elastic and 8.5 yards of yellow tulle. 

i gathered about 4 strips of tulle, folded in half, and pinned them all the way around the elsactic. then i sewed them on. 

viola! now your kids is tots adorbs. just like mine. 

dudes, i'm not saying this is the right way to do this. i'm just saying that this is what i did and it was pretty easy. it took me like 75% of one day to get it done from start to finish. and for me that's pretty good because i wouldn't claim to be anywhere near an expert on sewing (as i'm sure you can tell by my dicey instructions!!!) 

but i hope you find this helpful! 

i hope you were safe this Halloween! this could also be used for dress up. i know my daughter will want to wear it everyday.

love, tara


  1. It might have taken you a bit longer because you took so many pictures for your tutorial. I have done that a few times and it does eat up a quite a few minutes. Love that you did it though :) it turned out soooo pretty. I'm sure you are her hero even if he doesn't tell you. Beautiful.

  2. this year for Halloween my daughter requested to be Snow White after seeing ...


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